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tv   The Earth Is Weeping  CSPAN  January 23, 2017 6:55am-7:59am EST

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and sympathetic to them. first, i thought it was unique. i thought that was a prevailing point of view on the part of most of the army high command. i found that remarkable that we have empathy, empathy for the indians and circumstances and so that led me in to indian wars. the tiet sl not a quote. it's from my own imagination but derives from, you will find various combinations ofly ricks in indian songs of the period
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that we use for earth, mother earth, sad, weeping and depicting their situation in the west. >> your sources, you began your study as the eyewitness to the indian wars. the book gives a balance view, maybe the first to give such a balance view of rights of indians. what were most valuable to you in researching this book. >> a particular value, i will speak principally of the indian side because the white sources are more apparent, army, dairies, reports, letters, in the indian side, there were a number of stenographers, professional and otherwise who took testimony from indian
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warriors at the end of the indian wars while they were still young enough to recall what occurred and those provided resource and also congressional documents. it seemed like any time anyone sneezed in the west during the post civil war indian wars congress called a hearing and quite often they invited indian chiefs to actually come out and testify before a congress to present their point of view. memoirs of a number of indians taken down that were still alive that had been published in recent years. i was able to find enough credible sources of indian participants who tell the story right down the middle, 50/50
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from both indian and white sources. >> we have wonderful maps that really help the reader, certainly helped me as i went through the book. will you give me an overview of the indian population and the tribes in the west? what did they look like and where did they come from, in fact, what was the people in west. >> 1865-66, i provide back on, there's -- you can't really see with my degree of certainty what the population was but the estimated that the total indian population in the west was approximately 250,000 of whom perhaps 75,000 resided on the plains and the rest in in southwest, northwest and
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california. the principal tribes that i deal with in the book are going from north to south on the plains, lapota nation, also known as the sue, the seven tribes of the lacota, noorn shian, arapaho, the comanche, apache and the southwest, and among the tribes that were friendly to the government, shashoni of the rocky mountains and the central plains, most prominently and the tribes of the plains, there was a lot of -- in the 150-200 years before the action begins in the book, there was a lot of jocking
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among the tribes, lacota and all of the tribes were woodland tribes from east of mississippi river that were gradually pushed west by expanding white settlement of the united states and then clashed with tribe that is were native to the plains and pushed them away and occupied the lands that come to be associated with them. >> where did they go? indigenous. >> to the mountains, the black hills which has been a source of contention, they ended up going south and becoming united with the comanche on the southern plains. other tribes like the mandan were pushed further north or were decimated almost to extinction by smallpox or other white man's diseases. >> you mentioned in the book that there was one set of
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immigrants displacing another set. >> that's one of my principal thesis and that donned on me in the course of my research when i realized that, in fact, the lacota, the tribes we associate with the great plains and indian wars were relative new comers themselves. they had been on the plains for 150 years at most. so it was one wave of immigrants displacing another in a matter of speaking. i am going to get right up front to the thesis of your book, what is your assessment of those wars, the basic theme, misconceptions that all of us have had about the both army and the indians and specially the government policy of extermination allegedly and the indicate aibs themselves who you're mentioning quite a bit
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did not stand up united against the white settlements coming at them. >> exactly. >> i would argue that there's no period in american history that's more steeply and myth than the american west, the methodology developed since wounded knee, that is really guided the public's perception in indian wars for the first 80-odd years after the indian wars. the perception was that of the army sort of the shining white knights of the government and white settlers and indians as bad card board cut-outs to the army and the government and then
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in 1970 on the opposite direction, wounded knee which told the story, the perspective of the victim, so to speak, films like little big man and always been dependent that have informed our understanding but what i try to do is tell the story again in a balanced fashion. >> let me ask you this, our man, abraham lincoln presided over the beginnings of the war in the west up in minnesota with the sue uprising. i once had from the late 1880's, 90's, that had in itself the hanging of those 26 all indians altogether out of the 300 plus that were going to be hanged, lincoln did pardon all the others except those 26 that were hang.
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was the really the spark for the war that followed? >> before i answer that, i had one point to our last question. i just want to mention the three most egregious myths. one that the army was held on killing indians. that is not the case. the government policy as you suggest may have been exterminationist, it wasn't any sense of the word and thirdly, again, that the indians were reunited, among themselves within tribe but also continue to fight tribal warfare between tribes throughout the period. what was your question on the minnesota uprising, was that the spark? no. >> really in the middle of the civil war. >> what it did was make westerners a lot less tolerant of indians and their myths and a lot more suspicious and a lot
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more willing to treat the slightest provocation as perhaps the -- as perhaps pretending general uprising and, in fact, it was in that atmosphere in the months after the minnesota uprising that reaction was so dramatic in part because of the fear that was bred by the minnesota uprising. >> let's get into some of the internal conflicts over and over again, internal conflicts that i saw on both sides actually which surprised me a bit divisive they were within each group, both the army and the indians had those divisions between those that were ready to have peaceful settlements and those who wanted to resist, explain these divisions, please. >> there was no tribe that
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fought the government that fought the army that was ever holy united. every tribe had peace and war affection and boiled down to a question of whether -- whether the indians believed that resisting the whites was, in fact, a -- a policy that stood any chance of success whether they were better off trying to accommodate. quite often would be the case, the government had a policy of bringing chiefs to washington, d.c., power of the whites and come back from washington, d.c. after traveling across the
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country and realizing that the small tribes of 3 to 4,000 people stood no chance in the long run and these chiefs would often become the -- heads of the peace and seek accommodation as really the only possible way of surviving. and the only time that there was unanimity was tribes. it's interesting that i collect the plaque hawk war of 1832 because lincoln was in that war, if you can call it that, only about three months and that was it. they brought it at the end of it, they brought black hawk to the east, same way. he went back and stayed peaceful after that. it was interesting that they brought him up the eastern coast to be seen, you know, baltimore
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and philadelphia from washington and andy jackson was going up at the same time on a tour, political tour, and black hawk was bringing more people to him than to jackson. did people come out in droves to see tinned ains, the chiefs? >> at first, at first. in fact, my book begins with a conference between abraham lincoln and a delegation of shian chiefs and after their tour of washington, d.c. which included the union and so forth, ptbarnum arranged a deal with indian nations to take them to new york city and they were paraded around new york city and
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sold out audiences and great novelty. after a while the delegations became so frequent almost revolving door delegation that is the novelty wore off on the part of americans in the east. >> my technical staff asked me to read this, if your having buffering issues with today's show, please close and reopen browser and select the slow- stream speed. please do that, we want to keep you with us. conflicts that kept them from having unity. there were some, of course, that tried that, the sue and shian had some -- were together a number of times, but was this the mayor or one of the mayor aspects of the defeat of the indians that they could not unify against the common threat?
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>> yeah, the doubt expedited their defeat. the problem arose from the nature of indian society in the west. it was a warrior culture. a young man could not even court a girl, not even look for a wife until accumulate -- and so it was bred into the culture and the continues throughout course of the indian wars so the sioux
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and lacota were facing threat from white miners or settlers and trying the pull the probe from the west out of their country and the tribes were never quite able to focus their attention entirely to the white threat. >> was this the same for the northwest? >> not so much. tribes like had been in homeland for quite some time. there was some of that but far less pronounced than on the great plains. >> let's talk about warriors versus soldiers, which you do quite a bit. you said the indians were brave, hardened but loosely organized but seemed to be better warriors. the soldiers were better equipped and organized, with more resources to draw from, from the east, but they were less qualified than those during
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the civil war and poorly officered. they were not up to the same sort of standards that we read and the same with the indians, what sort of warriors were they and how did they organize their campaigns? >> the army, of course, volunteer army that fought the civil war mustered very quickly and they just kept sniffing away at the army from approximately 50-some thousand to fewer than 30,000 by the time big horn, as they did so, they also decreased
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incentives of private soldier, with the exception of the period of the financial panic of 1873, there were really no incentive enlist in the army. literally most who did enlist ended deserting as soon as possible, some as high as 85%. they came west at tension pence of the government and deserted at the first opportunity to work at the gold mines or start up on their own and fact more concerned about loosing equipment than manpower, so you had a very low-quality of enlisted men and the officer corp. promotion opportunities were so slow.
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a lieutenant coming out west at the start of indian wars after the civil war, i forget the exact amount of time, expect to wait upwards of 25 to 25 years ago before making mayor. someone in the army and navy commented that in a few years we are going -- officer corp. too old and crippled to fight. training depo but you're immediately sent to rejment but no time and no budget even for target practice. warriors, the boys were raised from childhood to become warriors and so they,
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the best national cavalry of the world. >> here is one, army life, rodney glycin wrote, although this is prior to your book, army life must have been awful and you're talking about the desertion rates. so did it remain that throughout the war? >> throughout the indicate -- indian wars? >> throughout the wars. were allowed and sherman went on tour at the start of the indian wars and wrote a report and he made one comment, he said that
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if the press were -- if black overseers and black plantation owners had kept slaves in conditions as filthy and miserable as that which our soldiers lived, there would have been a cry for the civil war that these -- one regiment when they came out in 1866 had to shovel out of barracks before settling in and buildings in many cases they had to sleep on the playgrounds and e troshous and the lack of budget, lack of upkeep. >> dances with wolves with just on and kevin kosir reminded me of this. are any people deserted or any others go nato --
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>> one in particular, the indians were believed to have fought, directed and believed to be a deserted from a black unit, one of the buffalo soldier regiments. there were a handful of deserters that went to the inane side but no officers. by the way, you go on sight and
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watch the interview that we've had, a spectacular book. >> the need for cash in the gold in the black hills would ring or pressure of proexpansion? after that point guarantees attitude was sympathetic to indians. in fact, we learned in ron's book that he was the first president to bring up indian rights in inauguration. >> right, the answer is the former and perhaps this gentleman read an article but i read this smithsonian magazine, organized to provoke war with the sioux that led to big horn.
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rationale was wanted the black hills for the mineral wells and the reservation chief plaque hills were on the lacota reservation and promised and the chiefs reservation chiefs wouldn't sell so guarantees thinking was and grant, what evidence there is is very damming and it's impossible to skip conclusion that this was guarantees decision, this is guarantees thinking and it was a question of choosing the -- even though he wasn't running again between electorates and the needs of the nation during a continued economic depression and the rights of the indians and he chose to former. the thinking was that we provoke a war but still on land
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promising them, we can defeat them, that defeat would pressure reservation chiefs to sell the black hills to the government and we taken them and mine them for all they were worth. >> the peace policy that grant proclaimed after this -- >> before that. >> for many years continued, but it changed and he changed and he decided not to have the same peace policy but to become more aggressive just like sherman wanted to be. what changed him? >> fundamentally he didn't -- the peace policy continued as the official policy with the best of intentions by president grant, really up until the whole question of the black hills arose. that was really what did it. it wasn't a case of a gradually
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falling and ending abruptly in the white house to plans out means to provoke war. >> actually provoke the war. >> actually provoke the war. >> how did the press get into this? and i have here a warren. this is from the black hawk war. at the same time this pamphlet really did provoke the populist against the indians and what was the role of the press at those days? they were following the army as they went along. >> another one of the excellent sources that i used, of course, for writing my book, i probably cite upwards of maybe 50 newspapers, correspondence
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traveled with the army or if a conflict developed they would flock to the scene of the conflict and the often interview the indians and participates as well. in fact, one of the best accounts i had of what was called hancock's war, the dispatches to the missouri republican by a henry named morgan stanley. he was a young stringer with the missouri republican and new york paper and so the press is ubiquitous. >> they were right there. >> extraordinary dichotomy. >> when you talk about humanitarians in the east, they had that influence? >> they had a huge influence.
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the quakers were in particular in guarantees developing a peace policy. he turned over a large of indian agency to management by the quackers and other religious organizations and the ironic thing about all of this the eastern humanitarians in their desire to save the indians, they saw nothing worthwhile in indian culture worth saving, so they were agents of cultural genocide, just as much as the government was. they -- they subscribe today prevailing, indians christianized, civilized, concentrated among reservations for the indians to have a chance of surviving which was a, again, it was not a -- not necessarily a moral or unrealistic way of looking at things but, again, humanitarians had paternal
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listic view of the indians. they we wanted to save them but not their culture. >> so they had this but they weren't influential enough to do much more, i guess? >> they weren't influential enough to stop the conflicts that arose and often times they were sympathetic when the conflicts arose. the influence of the humanitarians really came front and center after most of the fighting was over in terms when the book came out, the fighting is winding down, we have most indians and reservations, how do we speed their culturation and that's where humanitarians stepped in full force. >> another internal conflict and that's between the war of department and the indian war
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affairs, bickering over indian policy and the eye ring being part of this. did they -- did they influence public opinion as well and what was that conflict, bickering between them? >> absolutely. it was over control of indian affairs. army saw the indian bureau as hopelessly corrupt. this was a standing joke of the day, an indian chief said to general sherman, you know, our indian agent is a great man, when he comes he brings all his belongs and a little and when he leaves it takes two steam boats to carry out. the army was well aware of this. they railed against it. the indian bureau, their counter arguments which lacked a certain amount of moral basis but they
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argue that the army was a decivilize influence and the water department was interested in constant conflict. they were not the appropriate home for the bureau of indian affairs. general john pope once said we have no indian in provoking indian war. indian wars mean hardship, separation from our families and all we love and cherish. the army did not want these wars. that was an ongoing issue.
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>> but there was a tense rivalry between the two for promotion throughout this period. in a nutshell, i would say that miles, for all his ambition, all his vaunting ambition and his back stabbing of fellow officers, was uniformly humane and just in his treatment of defeated indians whereas cook talked a good game, he enjoyed his reputation even today of being uniformly humane in his treatment of the defeated indians, he wasn't.
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he did a lot of double dealing. but at the end of the day, he too was pathetic in a larger sense with the indians in terms of who was a better commander, it's a difficult question to answer. because fighting the indians often involved diplomacy and politics and managing them after they were defeated. but i guess if i had to, if i were pressed, i would give a slight edge to nelson miles in terms of consistency. george crook performed, i guess i could say miserably during the great sioux war as becomes clear in the book. >> there is so, there are so many conflicts and actions and tribes and officers and men that populate this book that all we can do is put spotlights on a few of them and hope that you at home will want to read this fine book. and i think that's really the way to understand all of this.
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and i also want to say that, again, my technical staff has asked me to say that we are having some streaming issues, and we're experiencing that today. the low band is having technical problems. those of you who are going to be on the archive will see this entire show. so do come to the archive at author's voice .net. the higher speed is working now, they say, so if you're experiencing buffering issues, you can go to youtube and go to author's voice. something i want to ask about are the indian scouts. i don't know if this is still in the craw of indians today, that there were indians that did help the army. pawnees, for instance, the crows were another. could the army have succeeded in what they did without them? >> it would have taken a lot, lot, lot longer.
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>> and more death on their part? >> they would have needed far greater numbers, and it would have taken a lot longer even to find hostile indians. the role of indian scouts was decisive in almost every conflict in the book. most particularly in tracking down hostile apaches. the army used apaches to fight apaches, and without the apache aukes auxiliaries, geronimo and his descendants might still be in northern mexico. the awenee -- pawnee, for instance, if you watch the tv the series, had it not been for a unit called the pawnee
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battalion to try to prevent these nonstop raids by the cheyenne and lakota on the construction crews and survey crews of the union pacific, had the pawnee battalion not existed and given such a drubbing to the cheyenne and lakota war parties, i personally estimate that it would have taken at least a year, perhaps longer for the transcontinental to have been completed. the pawnee battalion was instrumental in the completion of the uniupon the pacific -- union pacific railroad. it would not have happened nearly as quickly without them, to give one example of how important -- >> i was struck as a student of the blackhawk wars as i've mentioned, how much the policies were the same. for the blackhawk, the sac and fox indians, they were lead
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miners, fairly settled. and those lead mines is what brought the whites to them and to kick them out. and here we were, the same thing with mineral right this is the dakotas and elsewhere in the west that whites wanted that land for mineral rights. some of it, of course, was because of the panic that occurred and, certainly, that was part of the problem that everyone was looking for gold, for instance, to help the economy out east. >> that predated the pan bic of 1873 -- panic of 1873, and it also post-dated the california gold rush. gold was the great dispezer of indian -- dispossessor of indian lands. it was gold discoveries that led to the settlement of colorado, that dispossessed the nez perce of some of their lands, it was
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gold in northern california and southern governor that led to the conflicts there. it was gold in and new mexico that led to conflict with the apaches, gold, gold, gold. every time there was a major gold strike, dispossession of indian lands would follow apace. absolutely. that never -- gold or silver or -- >> are we reaping the same thing today with pipelines? out west? we're having that problem today. >> yeah, exactly. exactly. >> bob from albany has asked, please talk about the use of alcohol on both the indian and army sides. [laughter] >> i'm not sure how many times i indexed the word "alcohol," but it's one of the longer indexed entries in the book. alcohol was, the use of alcohol was ubiquitous on both sides. it, the officer corps was
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rampant with alcoholics, and i devote a couple of pages just to the use of alcohol in general among the soldiers and the officers. the most famous be, of course, was major reno at little bighorn who was drunk throughout the battle and was so drunk he couldn't even organize a defense at little bighorn. and indians and the entire villages would fall prey to alcohol and be on constant, you know, constant long-term binges. it was real destabilizing, unfortunate influence among the indian, and it was ever present in the army as well. george armstrong custer was one of the few tee totallers in the army, i think. >> i wanted to ask you about the
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strategy the army hawaii here we have randolph -- [inaudible] sheridan's troopers on the borders. was the winter the time that the army tried to displace the indians because they were this their camps for the winter, frankly? >> on the plains in particular, right. >> it wasn't the same with -- you brought up the apaches. it wasn't the same out there. >> no, no. because the apaches lived in temporary shelters that were easily dismantled as opposed to the plains indian tribes who after the autumn buffalo hunt, they would settle in to usually well-sheltered river bottoms that provided a good source of water, good wind breaks, they would set up their lodges, tepees for the winter, and their ponies would grow gaunt, their mobility would become virtually nonexistent. and they were sitting ducks. so to speak.
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and so that evolved pretty quickly as the army's choice time of year to launch indian campaigns. of course, the army faced great challenges themselves. some of these winter campaigns took place in 30 and 40 degree below zero temperatures. >> i was told just reading -- >> oh. yeah, it was -- i mean, these poor guys were out with frozen canteens and frozen hard tack and frozen meat, and, you know, falling off your horse. if you weren't revived at once by someone meant almost certain death. but the indians were stationary, and the indians never expected to be attacked during the winter. they believed winter to be their best ally. and and even though battles in the ted of winter -- the dead of winter occurred, the indians never quite were able to come to terms with this vulnerability. and they really didn't have think way around it. they had to hunker down for the winter. >> you mentioned the washi taw.
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custer was there, and you absolve him from that massacre. it was a very lopsided batting, and you with absolve him from that although there were other aspects. elliot, for instance, was left on the ground, and people like bent everything -- benine was slow to help custer. i'm wondering if, first of all, talk about why you absolve him from that has kerr, and did -- massacre, and did bentine hold a grudge and go too slowly to help custer? >> it was no way, shape or form a massacre, it was a battle. it was horribly lopsided. custer was following, again, he was following the strategy set laid out for him by general sheridan following the tactic
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that the army had decided on which was attacking theville ages -- the villages during the winter. he outnumbered the blackettings e -- black kettle enormously. there were warriors who had participated on raids in kansas, rapes and murders in kansas. and custer was issued strict orders, and unlike what you see in little big man, cus was issued -- custer issued orders against killing women and children, but those deaths were inevitable when you were riding into a village that contained women and children, it was inevitable that some would die. and there were cases of women too picking up weapons and fighting the cavalry. but the, this were some a-- there were some atrocities that actually were committed by
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custer's indian scouts. and when custer heard that one of his companies were firing on women, he sent a courier to put a stop to it at once. so custer never intended to make war onion combatants on noncombatants. you can question the humanity of the overall strategy, but to say custer was out to kill civilians was wrong. and it was not a massacre. a massacre, of course, by definition is a one-sided, intentional killing of people who are unable to defend themselves, and that was not the case. in fact, custer or lost more men than the indians lost warriors. >> so was there a connection with be, this tine at this point in. >> yeah. major joe elliot rode off with a small detachment on his own hook to chase some indians and became
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quite separated from custer and the main body, and by the time custer was aware of his departure, custer himself was in danger of being surrounded by a superior force of indians who had been camped down river and were beginning to appear on the battlefield. so custer had to make tracks. he could not hang around and hook for major elliot. and benti, this e blamed custer ever after in his mind for abandoning elliot. plus, bentine had a chip on his shoulder from the fact that he'd been demoted, and he believed himself to be a better officer than george armstrong custer and, perhaps, better officer than anyone else. he had quite an ego. but not that -- >> [inaudible] >> i don't believe that caused him to move slowly to little bighorn. he had been sent on by koetter on what he thought -- by custer on what he thought was a fool's mission. he believed custer did it to
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reap the glory for himself, but once bentine became cog think santa of the fact there was fighting going on, he picked up the pace. >> well, let's talk about custer and glory. i don't want to go into custer too much, you have a full story in here, and many people know of that story anyway, but in the civil war you write that custer instinctively knew when to charge, hold fast or retire, and you quote his head was always clear in danger, it was quoted at the time. so what happened? did he have political ambitions, perhaps to become president? is that what happened at little bighorn? >> i think that whole theory is pure nonsense. custer, at the time he broke free of general terry at the yellowstone river on june 32, 1876, and taliban his three- and began his three-day ride, the best intelligence that the army had was that the 7th cavalry alone would outnumber the indians.
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not aware of this huge accretion of indians that were coming from the reservations to join sitting bull, sitting bull's village and which caused the indian warrior strength to grow from 6-700 to over 1500, perhaps as many as 2,000 within the course of a week or so. custer was not aware of that. even his scouts believed that there were only a few hundred warriors. he had discretionary orders. in fact, he was encouraged once he -- by terry -- once he found the indians to give battle to them because everyone realized it was how difficult once you found indians to engage them. invariably, if the past were any indication, the indians would break camp and flee. so custer was operating under the best intelligence the army had at the time. and, again, we could spend an hour on this. but his action, i fault him only for vatting his forces --
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separating his forces. that's the only place i really find fault with him. and, of course, that proved to be a fatal mistake in view of the size of the indian village. >> talk briefly about the indian agents. certainly a vicious lot, it seems. is that across the board, for one? is that how we should view the indian agent, they really did take advantage of their postsesome. postsesome -- posts? >> indian agents, those who eau eau -- who owed their appointment to a political patronage, there were some who were upright and had the indians' best interests in mind, but they were not in the majority. and there were some very scurrilous, very crooked indian agents. there was a period during grant's administration when he turned over some of the crucial agencies on the plains to the quakers and other denominations.
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they ran the agencies honestly but often times displayed incredible naivete when it came to dealing with the indians. there were instances in which the army was given control of the agencies from time to time. they invariably ran the agencies well and honestly, and in general indians preferred army officers as agents over civilians because the army officers, an army officer committed malfeasance, he would be court-martialed, he would suffer the consequences -- >> and they knew it. >> and they knew it, absolutely. >> what about the indian commissioners? elliott parker is on grant's staff, we once had in our shop the table at appomattox in which he wrote out the terms of surrender, and he had a beautiful hand as well.
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and he was placed as an indian with commissioner, he was a seneca indian, by grant. but he eventually had to leave that post, and he left it kind of quickly. what was the role of the indian commissioner, kind of briefly, and did they have any influence in all of this? >> the commissioner of the bureau of indian affairs oversaw all relations with tribes, with nonhostile tribes. and so they managed all the indian agents, all the indian superintendents. they -- most of the agents were honest, but there were also some -- i'm sorry, most commissioners were honest, but there also were a handful of corrupt indian commissioners who became locked in scandal. believed that the indians only future laid in accultureaion.
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>> they're written with real movement in your narrative so that we want to turn that page and hear about another one as well and what happened. it doesn't get, i didn't get bogged down in any of this. one interesting one was the battle of beecher island in 1868 which i didn't know much about at all, and chief roman nose was there, colonel george forsyth on the other side. what brought me to it, frankly, was there was a jew there as well -- [laughter] a man named sigmund -- >> yeah. >> who was credited with scalping three indians and also killing a coyote that fed the starving soldiers next to him. general fry later on wrote this poem in 1893 to him. this is only one part of it. when the -- [inaudible] charged with madness and despair and the bravest souls were
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deathed, the little jew was there. [laughter] well, a little patronizing, okay, but nonetheless, he made his mark. but beecher island was a fascinating little battle. and be what was its influence? >> it's interesting that you said soldiers. they weren't soldiers. >> surveyors. >> they were actually scouts, civilian scouts, kind of a ranger force of civilian scouts that sheridan got up because the army had proved so inept at fighting the indians during the summer, during the months when the indians were mobile -- which, of course, letted to the whole winter strategy -- the army was so inept that he wanted to strike some blow against the indians, so he thought, okay, who better to fight them than experienced plainsmen? so he recruited 60 plainsmen and had one of his staff officers, george forsyth, lead them to try to find indian, and they found them. they were outnumbered about 10
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to 1 and were besieged at beecher island and survived, barely. >> barely. yeah. are there any controversies in the wars out west that you feel are still controversial, that you have not been able to decide one way or the other what really happened? is there any one or two that come to mind in and maybe not. >> no, not really. and i don't -- i'm not saying this to try to sound books or to sound at all arrogant, but i, even wounded knee. i won't spoil my conclusions, but they may surprise some people. but i came to a conclusion that i'm pretty comfortable with as to the question of whether or not wounded knee was, in fact, a massacre. so in terms of the individual conflicts, i feel that i've resolved them to my satisfaction after four years of research -- >> and that's the best part of this book, to get your take on
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this, someone who really has delved into this greatly. is there, there's an indian museum you talked about to me prior to the show that you really feel that everyone should go to. >> the buffalo bill center of the american west in cody, wyoming. i can't recommend highly enough. and if you're going out to yellowstone, it's worth the extra hour, hour and 15 minutes to go to cody. it's a remarkable place. one museum dedicated to buffalo bill, one to the weapons, the greatest weapon collection in the united states of antique weapons. and then a western art museum. and one museum dedicated to the plains tribes. and it's an absolutely superb museum. so if you really want a museum that will impart you something of the feeling of the indian wars and of the west in general, that is the place to go. >> i'm going to put you to work while i talk to our audience for
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a few moments and sign some books for us and for you as well, of course. first of all, as i said, this is such a vast book, and it's very difficult to be able to get into everything. and i was just looking at some of the things that i wanted to ask. the necessary be possessor war -- the nez perce war, the ghost dance religion that was there at the same time. and red cloud and sitting all who we've gotten, not gotten to. there are and some of the strategies that are there. we certainly haven't talked about the armaments that you speak about in depth here. and also the indian chief that s that were there and what the chief was and what they meant. so i really encourage you to do this. army forts, by the way, is another one that i noticed we didn't get to where fascinating things finish they thought there was going to be a line of
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armaments from the force themselves. it did not take place. so here is a book that you really should get to. it's an important book, it's up for the pulitzer, is that correct? so get to it before it gets it. you'll be the first one and have a first edition, signed copy as well. >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week. in the true flag, stephen censor recalls a political debate from over a century ago which included the likes of president theodore roosevelt, andrew carnegie and mark twain. melissa fleming reports on a syrian woman's attempt to flee her country on a fishing boat along with 500 refugees. when their boat was deliberately capsized in a hope more powerful than the sea. journalist kimberly fieldsal hearse makes her case for breast-feeding in the big metdown. 'd ward thorpe -- edward thorpe
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in a man for all markets. in the book that changed america, randall fuller looks at how charles darwin's on the origin of species impacted the lick in 1860, and daily beast's special correspondent chronicles blinl's two-term -- bill clinton's two-term presidency. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> this book is clearly a book about water, but as you've sensed, it's also a book about climate change and about biodiversity and about peace and conflict and food security. so what i do in the book is i explore how water connects with all those different facets of our challenges. and also explore how water
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literacy, understanding how water works, how water moves across the landscape and through the atmosphere can help us better address these concerns. because it's no news to any of you that we do have a lot of really, really difficult challenges before us. but we are not going to resolve those challenges with a visual graph. you know, i'm thinking of the keeling curve. we're not going to really get at these problems by missing -- we're not going to get there from, from scientific research, you know, from peer-reviewed studies in part because of the politicization of agricultural


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